Different Types of Brain Injury

Brain injury can be as individual as people, because every case of brain injury can happen for different reasons and have different effects on people. Classifying the different types of brain injury can require a lot of research. Generally the classification starts with the two more common types of brain injury: traumatic brain
injury and acquired brain injury. The levels are ranted as mild, moderate or severe. Brain injuries can also be classified as an open or closed brain injury.

Traumatic brain injury can happen whenever something strikes the head with force. The force would be strong enough to cause the brain to move in the skull causing internal damage to the brain. It can also occur if the skull breaks and the break itself injures the brain. There are various reasons for this type of force. It could due to a violent experience, sports injury or a variety of other causes. Any event that causes the head to be struck hard enough an cause this type of traumatic brain injury.

This type of brain injury can also occur from rapid movement back and forth, shaking the brain hard enough in the skull that it becomes damaged. This more commonly happens in auto accidents or in cases such as Shaken Baby Syndrome.  The rapid movement back and forth can do severe damage to the brain.

If you have suffered a severe blow to the head, or have been in an accident where your head was violently shaken, or suspect someone else has had this type of injury, go to the emergency room immediately or call 911 for further assistance. It is recommended that you do not wait. Severe brain injuries can become worse and could become fatal if not treated immediately.

Common symptoms of traumatic brain injury are as follows:
  • Spinal fluid coming out of the ears or nose, looking like thin, watery liquid
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Suspected concussion - not all concussions cause loss of consciousness
  • Severe dizziness or loss of balance
  • Dilated eyes
  • Loss of vision, or change in vision, either improved or reduced
  • Slow pulse
  • Slow breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargic
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Numbness or tingling sensations in any parts of the body
Different Types of Traumatic Brain Injury
Depending on how severe the injury is, the brain can suffer many types of injuries. Some of the more common classifications of such injuries include:Diffuse Axonal Injury - This type of injury seems to be more common with the rapid movement of the head as occurs with Shaken Baby Syndrome. It usually happens because the skull is moving faster than the brain, causing certain structures in the brain to tear. This injury can be temporary or permanent, causing a coma or even possibly producing fatal effects.

Concussion - A concussion can be caused by violent action toward the head, by severe blows, or a whiplash effect. This type of injury causes blood vessels to stretch. It's one of the more common types of brain injuries, and a concussion can take months or even years to fully heal.

Contusion - Again, this type of traumatic brain injury will happen with a violent action at the head. The injury is caused by bruising or bleeding on the brain. If the injury is severe and there is.

An acquired brain injury occurs any time after birth and is not induced by birth trauma or hereditary. This type of injury occurs on a cellular level. Such an injury can affect the entire brain, rather than a limited area like a traumatic brain injury.

Such injuries can occur for any of the following reasons: air obstruction, chocking, throat swelling, near drowning, electrical shock, trauma to the head, severe blood loss from open wounds, heart attack, stroke, infectious diseases, Meningitis, AIDS, brain tumors, toxic exposure, illegal drug use, overdose of drugs, alcohol abuse.

Because this type of brain injury is internal, you might have a harder time trying to identify the symptoms.
Some of the more common symptoms for acquired brain injury are:
  • Impairment of function, motor skills or memory
  • Long lengths of time spent in a still, 'vegetative' state
  • Sudden or severe behavior changes or problems - depression, restlessness, anxiety, psychosis.
As with traumatic brain injury, if you suspect someone may have acquired brain injury, call 911 or get the person to the emergency room right away.
Anoxic Brain Injury - This type of injury occurs when the brain is deprived of oxygen. There are three types of anoxia: Anoxic which is no oxygen is getting through, anemic which means severely limited amounts of oxygen is getting through, and toxic which means something is blocking the oxygen in the blood from being used in the brain.

Hypoxic Brain Injury - This sort of brain injury occurs when the brain does get oxygen, but doesn't seem to get enough oxygen. It could happen because of lack of blood flow or blood pressure is weak.

If you should suffer from any symptoms listed, have suffered a blow to the head or you suspect that you or someone you know may have any form of brain injury, seek medical treatment right away. Call 911 if you see someone who has had an injury to the head, even if that person says they are fine.  When caught early enough, many types of brain injuries are treatable.